What is a ‘whole food’ supplement?

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What is a ‘whole food’ supplement, and how is it different from any other supplement?

A new survey conducted annually for 15 years now under the auspices of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, finds that 68 percent of U.S. adults take nutritional supplements; 50 percent regularly.

But it is likely that many of them don’t know the difference between a whole food supplement and a synthetic supplement.

It’s agreed in the natural health world that eating whole foods is better than eating processed foods.

Supplements are the same. Many synthetic supplements on the market are the equivalent of processed food.

Cheap, but are they giving you real nutrition that is absorbed happily by your body?

Synthetic vitamins are stripped of the wholeness and integrity of real food.

They are primarily chemical compounds not found in nature, and lack the synergistic and balancing nutrients, enzymes and co-factors required by the body.

Natural digestion and assimilation is limited or non-existent. The body treats the chemicals as a foreign substance.

Good whole food supplements are not treated like that by the body.

A whole food supplement is what the name suggests—they are made from concentrated real foods.

They are highly complex structures that (synergistically) combine a variety of enzymes, coenzymes, antioxidants, trace elements and activators, etc. to enable the vitamin complex to do its job in your body.

Synergy means the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The potency of the supplement has more to do with synergy than actual nutrient levels. It’s not the amount so much as what is bioavailable to the body.

The goal of a good whole food supplement is to provide nutrients to the body that are as close as possible to how they are found in nature.

Naturopathic physician Dr. Joe Mercola compares the synergy of a quality whole food supplement vs. synthetics to an automobile. “…An automobile is a wonderfully designed complex machine that needs all of its parts to be present and in place to function properly.

Wheels are certainly an important part of the whole, but you could never isolate them from the rest of the car, call them a car, or expect them to function like a car. They need the engine, body and everything else.”

Even Mayo Clinic says good supplemental vitamins are important for many people (in today’s world of the nutrient-deficient Standard American Diet.)

Surprisingly, Generations X and Y are using nutritional supplements at almost the same rate as older generations.

That’s why it’s so important that they know the difference between a whole food supplement and a synthetic supplement.

Finally, keep in mind that there is NO substitute for a good balanced whole food diet.

Other sources: Naturalsociety.com, Newhope.com.